The basic Do328 first flew on 6 December 1991,and entered
commercial service in October 1993. The 328's new fuselage
allowed for comfortable 3-abreast seating, with the potential for a 4-abreast configuration. Combined with the supercritical wing
developed from Dornier's Do 228, this gave the 328 excellent cruise and climb capabilities. In 2005, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) awarded a contract to AeroRescue for long-range Search and Rescue (SAR) capability around Australia. Five 328-100s were progressively commissioned from April 2006 to February 2007 and stationed around the Australian coastline to provide a 24 hour, 30 minute response capability.
In January 2008 a total of 80 Dornier 328-100 aircraft remained in airline service.
Due to public perception of noise and reliability issues with turboprops, Fairchild-Dornier developed the turbofan-based 328-300 or 328JET, of which 83 were sold. The 328JET utilized the same cabin arrangement as the 328.
The most obvious change to the 328 for the 328JET is the addition of FADEC equipped Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306 turbofans mounted in underwing pods. Otherwise the 328JET was designed to be a minimum change development of the 328 turboprop to allow Fairchild to bring the aircraft to market as quickly as possible. Fairchild was able to achieve this because of the turboprop 328's conservative engineering and clean aerodynamic design. Just two fuselage frames (which the wing and landing gear attach to) required strengthening. A 10cm (4in) extension to the trailing edge flaps cuts aerodynamic drag. Other changes include strengthened landing gear and brakes.